More Than 200 Lawmakers Call for Penalty Relief Due to Massive IRS Backlog

(Joshua PaladinoHeadline USA) In a bipartisan letter, congressional lawmakers asked the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service to “provide penalty relief for taxpayers” because they have not processed millions of last year’s tax returns, Just the News reported.

“In many cases, the delayed processing of amended returns has been devastating to small businesses in our communities whose applications for emergency loans from the Small Business Administration have been caught in limbo nearly two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began,” the 214 congressinal signatories told Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

The IRS sent Americans an “urgent reminder” to submit electronic tax filings “to help speed refunds.”

This message indicated that the IRS may cause additional delays this year, even as last year’s tax returns still linger.

“The situation has deteriorated to a point that the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will no longer accept cases solely involving the processing of amended returns,” the letter said. “This has made it impossible for frustrated taxpayers to find any help.”

The lawmakers said that constituents have contacted them for help, but they have their “hands tied.”

The federal government commissioned the National Taxpayer Advocate to report on the IRS backlog.

In December, the NTA reported that the IRS had “2.8 million unprocessed business returns, 6.2 million unprocessed individual returns, 2.4 million unprocessed amended individual returns, along with 427,000 amended business returns,” Just the News reported.

The IRS also has failed to respond to 4.75 million inquiries.

“The IRS is in crisis and needs to apply resources to its core mission—processing returns and paying the corresponding refunds,” NTA said.

Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress want to expand the IRS’s authority, hire more tax collectors and punish Americans on their tax filings.

The IRS blamed its failure on “several critical tax law changes that took place in 2021 and ongoing challenges related to the pandemic.”